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Popcorn farmers gearing up for hands on harvest

PERLEY, Minn. - It's harvest time in Perley, Minnesota and the Gehring family is ditching classic equipment and harvesting the old-fashioned way.

"Every cobb picked by hand," Farmer Colten Gehring said.

Picking by hand helps them keep the kernels safe. They say this is important when you're farming popcorn.

"It's very interesting and humbling to see people come up to you and say oh you're the popcorn people," Gehring said.

What started as wedding favors three years ago grew into a business the Gehrings are proud of.

"To me its more of a gift than it is you know just a grocery store item," Colten's wife and business partner Katie Gehring said.

"You start pulling those husks back and just those golden cobbs, its something you say, holy cow I did that, we planted that and that's the fruits of our labor," Colten said.

It's no ordinary popcorn either, this stuff pops right off the cobb.

"To see the smile on peoples faces when you tell 'em nope you throw the whole cobb in the microwave," Colten said.

For many people, their favorite part of popcorn is eating it. But for the Gehrings, everything that comes before the snacking is what makes the work worth it.

"I want this to be something that our kids could be proud of doing or it could be something like our friends and our family get to come out and do and we get to do it together and there are so few things in this world that we get to do all together," Katie said.

Every every kernel on every cobb is special, especially when its picked with someone you love.

"It's something we can do together," Katie said.

"I couldn't do it without her," Colten said.

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